Data journalism website FiveThirtyEight has created an interactive data visualization that lets users analyze the 33,559 annual gun deaths in the United States by representing each death by a single dot. Users can break down the data by type of death, such as “homicide” or “accident,” and the gender, age range, and race of the person who died. For example, a user can filter the dots to display all the accidental shooting deaths of Hispanic males aged 65 of older. FiveThirtyEight also color codes the dots that indicate shooting deaths from terrorism and mass shootings, as well as police officers killed and police shootings, revealing that they are only very small fractions of the total number of shooting deaths every year—the majority of which are suicides. FiveThirtyEight has made all of the data and code for the visualizations available on its GitHub page.
Putting Gun Deaths in Perspective
Joshua New was a senior policy analyst at the Center for Data Innovation. He has a background in government affairs, policy, and communication. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, Joshua graduated from American University with degrees in C.L.E.G. (Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and Public Communication. His research focuses on methods of promoting innovative and emerging technologies as a means of improving the economy and quality of life.
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